Not a good mentor

  1. So I am supposed to be mentoring new staff and I am just not good at it.

    We don't have CNA classes here, so we have to start from the very beginning. And they keep putting them with me, even though I am not permanent staff on this ward, because I have worked here so much.

    Any tips?
    Last edit by JDZ344 on May 25, '14
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    About JDZ344

    Joined: Feb '10; Posts: 874; Likes: 1,159


  3. by   FLArn
    Go to your manager and ask for an outline of what they want you to be orienting your new hires to know. Explain that you are feeling a little (or a lot) unsure of exactly what they want you to cover and don't want to forget anything. Make it about doing a better job for them and not about you. I know I put new hires with the person I think is the best example of what I want them to do so you must be doing your job well because they keep giving you people to mentor. I am assuming that these people have passed the CNA (STNA) test and are just being oriented to your facility. Are you in an ALF or a SNF? If these people are not already state certified or tested, then just do your best to be a good example and explain the whats and hows for now and worry about the whys of doing things later. Hope this makes sense and is of some help to you.
  4. by   funtimes
    Whenever im doing someones orientation I never assume they already know how to do something, or even that they fully understood what I was teaching them until they demonstrate it to me. This works a lot better than just asking them, and once they know they are going to have to demonstrate it after I show them they pay a lot more attention and ask more questions. This is something I learned in the military, where skills had to be taught quickly and thoroughly to people of varying levels of intelligence. It also helps to make sure the person feels comfortable and doesnt feel a lot of pressure not to make mistakes or look dumb, which is something I definitely did NOT learn in the military.

    I also think people learn a lot better by DOING than by observing. I can show someone how to tie restraints ten times in a row and they might not get it, but have them try it themselves after the first time, watch them screw it up, then show them again and it usually takes less time. If a person constantly seems to pick things up quickly, then I might not take as much time, but I usually try to error on the side of showing too much. Of course all this assumes the person Im teaching wants to learn and pays attention. If they act bored or have a know it all attitude I wont be so thorough.

    Hopefully you are getting paid to teach and its not just something they lumped in on top of all your other duties(which is usually how it is).
  5. by   pfongk
    Something I do with my students and the people I'm orientating is "Watch one, do one, teach one". This was taught to me by my preceptor years and years ago when I first started as an AIN (Australian version of a CNA). This meant that I show them how to do it and explain what's being done as I go, I then get them to do it on their own as much as possible then I get them to try and teach me how to do it as if I'm brand new with no experience whatsoever. I also tell them there's no such thing as a stupid question and ask them to explain back to me what I've just said in their own words. I will also make mistakes deliberately and see if they pick me up on them or just follow what I'm doing.
  6. by   JDZ344
    Thank you for your replies. I will see how tomorrow goes
    And no, no extra pay!